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UW–Madison’s commitment to the state at the heart of new campaign

February 3, 2023 By Rodee Schneider
In a chemistry lab class, two students wearing face shields lean in to watch the liquid in a beaker change from blue to yellow.

Students in a lab for the second semester of general chemistry watch carefully for a reaction in their flask. Each year, UW–Madison graduates more than 10,000 job-ready, in-demand students; improves the state’s economy through new startups, research and collaborations with industry; and offers deserving, first-generation students a chance at a better life through education. Photo: Althea Dotzour

When it comes to helping Wisconsin residents and the state’s economy, you can’t stop a Badger.

That’s just one of the messages the University of Wisconsin–Madison will share as it launches a new campaign to connect with audiences across the state. Building on the established “You Can’t Stop a Badger” theme, the campaign will feature in-depth profiles, news features and little-known facts about the people and programs that are building Wisconsin’s future workforce and economy.

The campaign, which began in January and extends through the summer, includes traditional and digital advertising, storytelling, video and social content, and affiliated events. Unique monthly themes will focus on how UW–Madison is helping to power the state’s economy, keep education affordable, drive medical and scientific breakthroughs, build collaborations with communities and businesses and prepare thousands of students for the careers of tomorrow.

“We’re in a moment when the public, elected officials and students are increasingly asking universities to demonstrate their value,” says Tricia Nolan, UW–Madison’s assistant vice chancellor for marketing and brand strategy.

“At UW–Madison, we can say without hesitation that this campus is the key to the state’s future,” adds Nolan, noting that whether it’s by graduating more than 10,000 job-ready, in-demand students every year; improving the state’s economy through new startups, research and collaborations with industry; or by offering deserving, first-generation students a chance at a better life through education.

“The ‘Can’t Stop a Badger’ campaign is a celebration of those successes and the university’s commitment to the state, its people and its future.”

As part of the campaign, the university has also developed a landing page featuring stories and reports detailing UW–Madison’s county-level impact. The reports allow members of the public to see how UW benefits their communities, including service and research projects, alumni stats and undergraduate enrollment.

Among the dozens of new profiles, videos and features of the “Can’t Stop a Badger” campaign, stories will include:

  • A profile of students and families benefiting from Bucky’s Tuition Promise, the free tuition program for Wisconsin students with family incomes under $60,000 a year.
  • The most popular campus majors and the students ready to make their mark post-graduation.
  • New medical breakthroughs that are improving patients’ lives in Wisconsin.
  • Startup culture at UW, including profiles of alumni launching companies and creating jobs for Wisconsinites.

The ad campaign, with a focus on the university’s commitment to affordability and Wisconsin communities, is supported by the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association. It features radio and video spots, print and digital ads and in-feed ads on social media.

The effort comes amidst this year’s biennial budget cycle, with lawmakers determining state funding allocations. UW–Madison’s budget request includes a new College of Engineering building to add hundreds of high-demand engineering graduates, the ability to borrow funds — or issue bonds — on building projects funded entirely through university revenue using no tax dollars, a compensation plan to attract and retain employees, and a modest investment in university operations.

Campus stories can be found and shared using #CantStopaBadger on social media or on the landing page. You can subscribe to the monthly Wisconsin Ideas newsletter for related news and updates.

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